# Use a Pugh Matrix to Compare Choices

Posted by on Feb 6, 2022 in Pugh Matrix | 0 comments

A Pugh matrix is a business analysis tool used to objectively compare choices.  It is a useful technique to identify which concepts are the most important to pursue. The matrix helps you rank concepts or potential solutions, using weighted criteria that are important to your project and/or organization.

The attached diagram shows an example.  Here we have three concepts that are compared to the current baseline concept using eight different evaluation criteria shown on the left.  Each criterion is weighted based on customer feedback and you can see that size, weight, and cost are given a weight rating of 9.

Since the baseline concept is used to compare the others, any proposed concept that compares equal to the baseline is given the designation S.  A concept that is not equal to the baseline is given a minus (-) and one that is superior or better than the baseline is given a plus (+).  The summary at the bottom shows how each of the proposed concepts compares to the baseline.  Concept 1 has a +20 compared to the baseline.  Looking more closely at how that was calculated, we see the following:

Each of the +’s is added together taking into consideration its weight.  In this case for concept 1, the total is 21 pluses.  Since there is also one minus, the total score for concept 1 is 20.  Each concept is compared in a similar manner and the total scores for each is shown in red in the upper diagram.

Sometimes the first time concepts are ranked, no clear winner emerges. When this occurs, it is time for the team to re-examine both the requirements and the concepts. Make sure that all relevant requirements have been captured and ranked. Sometimes it also helps to look at the concepts and see if any features of one concept also apply to others. The Pugh technique has been referred to as a method to torture the concepts to force them to reveal their differences.

The real power of Pugh analysis is not in “choosing a winner” but instead is in identifying strengths and weaknesses so that you can build a hybrid concept that incorporates the best features of all. You should use the Pugh matrix to mine the opportunities – “How can I incorporate the demand voltage old performance of concept 3 into concept 1?”  This may require additional rounds of concept generation to come up with new ideas.